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17 July 2015, 07:15
Andy Murray is not surprised Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet has been left out of the singles for Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final with France.
Gasquet beat French Open champion Stan Wawrinka to reach the last four at Wimbledon last week but the world number 13 will only play doubles against Britain, who are bidding to reach a first semi-final since 1981.
Gasquet's omission for reasons of fatigue means France's Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will lead the charge in the singles with Simon up first against Britain's James Ward on Friday.
Murray will play Tsonga second at Queen's Club, with his brother Jamie and Dominic Inglot provisionally scheduled to play the doubles on Saturday against Gasquet and Nicolas Mahut.
''We don't know how Gasquet is feeling,'' Murray said.
''Players are normally quite tired at the end of slams when they've gone deep and I would imagine if Simon was the one who made the semi-finals and Gasquet had lost in the quarters, that Gasquet would have played because he would have had a few extra days.
''But I gather he went home for a few days after Wimbledon and probably arrived here later than the others so didn't have as long to prepare.
''Simon will probably be a little fresher than him. Both of them had excellent grass-court seasons and Gilles, out of the three of them, has been the most consistent in terms of rankings and maybe performances on grass.
''He's probably been the most solid so I'm not surprised at all.''
France captain Arnaud Clement explained his belief that leaving Gasquet out was the ''logical choice'' as Simon and Tsonga had enjoyed more time to prepare on the grass-courts.
It places added emphasis on the performance of Tsonga, who was beaten by Ivo Karlovic in the third round at Wimbledon and has lost nine of his last 10 meetings with Murray, including four on grass.
''He's a very good athlete,'' Murray said. ''He's a strong guy, he's an explosive player, he can serve big, he can get to the net quickly and when you think you have advantage, he can come up with some great shots.
''I'll look to try and play a very consistent match from start to finish. If his level drops and he makes some errors I'll try to capitalise on that but he's a tough player to beat on this surface.''
Murray's contribution to Britain's hopes of success will be key but Leon Smith's team have also relied on Ward's results to reach the last eight.
Ward's surprise victory over John Isner was crucial to Britain's win over the United States in March and there will be added spice to his opening clash against Simon, who he has regularly practised with and his coach, Darren Tandy, has worked with in the past.
''He did (work with Simon) a bit,'' Ward said. ''How much I'm not going to say but Gilles' coach Jan (de Witt) was Darren's partner for a long time on tour and they've remained friends.
''So I'm sure he's helped him a bit in the past but at the moment he's only working with me, so I'll be giving him a call tonight and seeing what he's got for me.''
Murray faces Simon in the first singles rubber on Sunday before Ward plays Tsonga in the final match of the tie.